Your bar is likely the most profitable part of your entire restaurant. From draft beer to high-end water service, beverage programs consistently rank as the highest performing area in just about any type of foodservice operation. But just because we don't cook and eat our beverages, that doesn't mean we can neglect our bars when it comes to safety and sanitation.
Here are four things you must keep clean in your bar and beverage program:
Of all the things to keep clean in your bar, how about starting with the actual bar. Make sure customers have a clean surface for eating and drinking by using a bar rag to regularly wipe down the bar. But make sure that bar rag is also frequently sanitized with soap and sanitizer. Other bar surfaces that demand attention are areas where garnishes are processed or stored such as cutting boards.
Actually, when you think about ice, we do "eat" our beverages, and many types of ice manufacturing or distribution will actually treat ice like food. Whether it's nugget ice used in sodas or large volume ice used in cocktails, ice machines and ice delivery systems must always be sanitized in order to maintain safety. Some basic things to remember are never using hands when adding ice to a glass, never scooping ice with a glass for fear that it a broken piece might become part of the ice supply, and never store cans or bottles in ice used in drinks because cans and bottles are often very dirty.
Nobody likes to look down at a beer glass to find lipstick stains already on it. Keeping glasses clean is an essential part of providing a better bar experience. Use proper warewashing equipment or processes, do not carry glasses by the rims, and make sure areas where glasses are stored are regularly cleaned, as well.
Yep, people are the final piece of the puzzle. Staff should be properly trained on safety and sanitation procedures to stay in compliance with any HACCP regulations. Employees should regularly wash hands, practice good hygiene, and keep any harmful substances like bleach or soap away from consumable products and off their hands.